Construction NPA

What is special about this course?

The NPA is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to allow you to gain employment in the construction industry, or to progress to a higher level qualification.

Entry requirements

As with all SQA qualifications, access to the award is at the discretion of the centre although the National Progression Award in Construction is fundamentally designed to encourage open access to all candidates in so far as possible but candidates should enjoy working with their hands and have good hand and eye co-ordination, be capable of undertaking simple calculations, understand basic drawings, carefully follow instructions and work in a safe manner at all times.

Subjects include:

  • Trowel Occupations
  • Wood Occupations
  • Introduction to Plumbing
  • Roof Tiling and Slating
  • Health, Safety and Construction Occupation Practices.
  • Core Skills
  • Work Placement


None; all PPE, tools and equipment are supplied.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

It is recognised that the NPA in Construction is very much an award which focuses on the development of the candidates hand skills and use of tools. Nevertheless there may be opportunities for the introduction of e learning during the teaching and delivery of the award. The learning and assessments of the knowledge based Outcomes can be conducted by either using e learning methods, or by traditional teaching techniques. For example formal assessments may make the use of IT systems and facilities when available, or alternatively can also use the standard mode of supervising candidates during classroom paper based assessments.

How long will my course last?

1 Year

The NPA is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to allow you to gain employment in the construction industry, or to progress to a higher level qualification.

Where can I study my course?

    Start date



    Full time

    If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

    Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

    Part time

    Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

    If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    The National Progression Award in Construction can lead to lucrative employment within the Construction Industry, particularly through Modern Apprenticeships. There are a large number of Modern Apprentices employed in the Construction sector and each year brings a significant increase in the number of apprentice registrations. All available research and projections indicate that this trend will continue in the foreseeable future.

    As well as the traditional crafts the National Progression Award will provide invaluable practical experience and knowledge to candidates who aspire to the more technical professions which exist in Construction such as Civil Engineering and Management.

    Is there more information available online?

    QR Code - scan to visit course page

    You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

    I am really enjoying all the practical work on the course
    Other useful info: A work placement with a local employer is an integral part of the NPA Construction.

    The NPA Construction is a vocational qualification which provides practical opportunities for developing real skills that are valid and relevant to the world of work and fills the void between leaving school and starting a Modern Apprenticeship.

    Apply for Construction NPA

    Applications for this subject are currently closed.

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Orkney College UHI. Orkney College UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.